Author Archives: Alpha Packaging

  1. Difference Between Shrink Film and Stretch Film

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    Many types of goods are packaged or bundled with thin polymer films for protection during shipping and storage. Shrink film and stretch film are common examples, but they are made from different materials and serve different purposes. 

    Here, we’ll look at how they differ, some available options, and how they are typically used in different industries.

    Shrink Film

    Shrink film, or shrink wrap, is a versatile packaging material that shrinks to mold to the shape of its contents when heat is applied. It is generally used to wrap single product items for individual sale or use. Shrink wrap plastic is available in center-fold or tubular forms on rolls, or as pre-measured bags in different sizes. Shrink wrapping produces a durable and clear barrier to protect the product inside while letting consumers see the contents.

    In general, the plastic must be heated to around 300°F to begin the shrinking process. Heat catalyzes the molecules in the film, causing them to align and shrink around the object. While it can be applied with hand-held heat guns, shrink wrap machines that cut and heat seal in one operation are more efficient. These use a conveyor or heat tunnel for quick and even heat distribution. 


    Shrink films are made from the following materials:

    • Polyethylene: A type of polyolefin often used with heavy products and for bundling; lower shrink rate than other options
    • Polyolefin: Safe for food and non-food products; strong and low-odor film; cross-linked polyolefin is highly clear and sterile
    • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): Only for non-edible products; must be used with proper ventilation due to hydrogen chloride release; cost-effective

    In addition to the film material, there are several important considerations when selecting the most suitable shrink film for an application. These include film gauge (i.e., thickness), moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR), shrink temperature, shrink rate of the material, how much pressure the shrunken plastic applies to the product inside, and tear or puncture resistance. 


    Shrink film is used in many industries for a range of products such as: 

    • Electronics
    • Food
    • Games & Sporting Goods
    • Hardware & Housewares
    • Printing & Paper Products


    Shrink film offers various advantages for packaging, including:

    • Cost reduction over boxes, cartons, and other options
    • Presentation of products in a tidy and secure package that can be seen through
    • Protection against component loss, breakage, or spoilage
    • Sustainability of recyclable plastic

    Stretch Film

    Stretch film, or stretch wrap, is a flexible and stretchable plastic film that can be wrapped around products to bundle and protect them during shipping and storage. It is often used to secure groups of boxes, bags, or single large objects on pallets. It can be applied by hand or with automated or semi-automated packaging equipment.

    Plastic stretch film is available in several gauges and widths and can be purchased pre-stretched for ease of application. Specialized types of stretch film are available for UV protection, ventilation, anti-static buildup, and color preference or opacity. 


    Stretch films can be made of several types of polyethylene, the most common being linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). Depending on the application, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) may deliver improved performance.


    Stretch film is used in many industries for these and other purposes:

    • Pallet wrapping
    • Protecting items from dirt, dust, or moisture
    • Securing rolling or mobile items during storage and transportation
    • Color coding pallets or bundles, blocking UV exposure, or obscuring contents from view
    • Bundling small or like items for more efficient storage and shipping


    Stretch film offers several benefits, such as:

    • Cost-effectiveness
    • Durable product protection from tampering, loss, or damage
    • Efficient transportation and storage of goods
    • Recyclable plastic is sustainable
    • Reduces injury risk from falling products

    Why Choose Alpha Packaging, Inc.

    Shrink film and stretch film are two effective ways to package and protect items. Manufacturers and producers rely on them to minimize damage and loss and to keep products organized. 

    Alpha Packaging, Inc. provides a full range of packaging supplies, products, and materials including shrink and stretch films. We also manufacture corrugated board and cardboard boxes, mailers, shipping boxes, and pizza boxes. Additional services include custom packaging, printing, and foam inserts.

    Contact us to learn more about our catalog and manufacturing capabilities, or request a quote to get started today.

  2. Types of Eco-Friendly Packaging

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    Consumer demand for sustainable manufacturing practices and products continues to grow. Companies in turn seize the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and impact on the environment, and food and beverage products are no exception. Steps you take toward sustainability may also give you a boost with eco-friendly branding and messaging.

    Packaging is one of the most visible ways you communicate with your customers and entice new ones. If you’re just starting to adopt sustainable packaging or looking for new and improved options, Alpha Packaging can help. In this article, we’ll explore the definition of sustainable packaging and look at several examples for food and beverage producers.

    About Sustainable Food Packaging

    It’s easy to claim you use sustainable food packaging, but what does that really mean? While the goal is always to choose packaging that has the smallest impact on the environment, not all options are sustainable to the same degree. The best ones address several of these aspects of sustainability:

    • Packaging materials are recycled or have high post-consumer use content
    • New packaging materials made from renewable sources (i.e., plant fibers or resins)
    • Designs that reduce the overall amount of packaging material
    • Packaging production processes that minimize resource consumption (i.e., water, electricity)
    • Packaging that can be recycled, composted, or reused
    • Materials that do not pollute waterways or harm wildlife as they break down

    Benefits Of Sustainable Food Packaging

    Food and beverage manufacturers gain many benefits by investing in sustainable food packaging, such as:

    • Using sustainable packaging can reduce your brand’s overall carbon footprint and environmental impact.
    • Sustainable and compostable packaging has a premium appeal that enhances your brand’s image and appeals to consumers.
    • When eco-conscious consumers trust your commitment to the environment, they are more likely to buy and endorse your products.
    • Eco-friendly packaging is often lighter and more efficient to pack, saving you money on shipping.

    Types Of Sustainable Food Packaging

    A sustainable package is only a viable option if it is comparable to traditional packaging in terms of protecting contents from damage, keeping products fresh, and sealing against leaks and contamination. Fortunately, today’s sustainable food packaging selections stand up to this challenge.

    Glass Packaging

    Glass packaging is a trusted, durable material and is 100% recyclable. This means you can package your products in recycled glass containers, and then those containers can be recycled when they’re empty. This cycle can continue indefinitely.

    Types of Eco Friendly Food Packaging

    Kraft Paper Packaging

    Kraft paper packaging includes Kraft Paper for Void Fill, Grocery Bags, and Food Delivery Bags. It is a lightweight and versatile choice for filling in empty spaces in boxes, layering, and wrapping. Kraft paper is made from 100% recycled wood pulp, and can be recycled after use.

    Plant-Based Packaging

    Plant-based packaging includes Eco-friendly Loose Fill, Foam Wrap, and Cushioning Pads. These are made with renewable materials derived from plant starches and other organic vegetal matter.

    Compostable & Biodegradable Packaging

    Compostable and biodegradable packaging includes Corrugated Trash Cans, Biodegradable Ice Packs, and Honeycomb Sheets. Compostable foam wrap is a plant-based, protective packaging that can be used in multiple applications. It is typically composed of starches from plant-based sources and organic natural fibers. Using compostable packaging reduces your reliance on petroleum-based sources.

    Metal Packaging

    Reusable tins and boxes made from food-grade metal are strong and attractive options that many consumers gravitate toward (often because they plan to repurpose the container). Metal packaging can also include Food-grade Aluminum Foil. When properly cleaned, aluminum foil can be recycled. Metals, like aluminum, steel, and tin, can be almost infinitely recycled without compromising properties or quality. This reduces the need to extract and process virgin metals.

    Recyclable Packaging

    Recyclable packaging includes Tape, Void Fill, Insulated Containers, Thermo Chill® Cooler Boxes, and Paper Bubbles. Alpha Packaging manufactures custom recyclable packaging solutions, including plastic corrugated products, triple-wall boxes, and wholesale pizza boxes. Our kraft pizza boxes are a popular choice for packaging freshly made pizzas in a safe and earth-friendly packaging option.

    Sustainable Food Packaging Solutions by Alpha Packaging

    Alpha Packaging is committed to supplying packaging made with eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes. We also offer a full line of plastic and corrugated boxes, inserts, and mailers along with custom services for packaging, foam, and printing.

    Whether you have a package design in mind or want to explore options, Alpha Packaging can help. Request a quote to speak with us about your sustainable food packaging needs.

  3. How to Recycle Corrugated Packaging

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    How to Recycle Corrugated Packaging

    With many industries striving to go green and reduce their carbon footprint, corrugated packaging has become a popular choice. This type of packaging is tough and sturdy which makes it great for shipping and packaging. Additionally, it is made from a combination of wood fibers and paper pulp, making it recyclable up to seven times. Recycling corrugated packaging reduces waste, conserves resources, and protects the environment.

    How to Recycle Corrugated Packaging

    Why is Corrugated Sustainable?

    The concept of sustainability is based on the idea that our existence depends on our natural environment and that it’s important to maintain conditions that allow us to coexist with nature in the present and future.

    Corrugated packaging is a sustainable option because it’s made primarily from trees, which are a renewable resource. According to Corrugated, this packaging has a high recovery rate of around 90%. In 2018, the corrugated industry was able to recover and recycle 96% of the old corrugated containers. Compared to other packaging materials, corrugated materials have an extremely high recovery rate, while plastic has a recovery rate of only about 15%.

    Moreover, corrugated packaging is biodegradable and can be recycled multiple times without losing strength or quality. This makes it a much better option compared to other non-biodegradable packaging materials that can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills and often release harmful chemicals into the environment.

    How to Recycle Corrugated Cardboard

    Most corrugated cardboard boxes are recyclable, with only a few exceptions. These boxes are commonly made from recycled materials, such as other corrugated boxes, which makes them one of the most environmentally friendly packaging materials available. The recycling process for corrugated cardboard is as follows:

    • Preparation: Remove additional packaging materials such as foam inserts, plastic wraps, or wood inserts to ensure that the recycling process only involves the corrugated box.
    • Cutting: Use a box cutter to cut the packing tape on the bottom and sides of the box to loosen it and make it easier to break down.
    • Flattening: Extend all of the box’s flaps and press it flat. This step saves space during transportation and makes storing the boxes easier until they are recycled.
    • Sorting: Check with your local recycling program to determine if corrugated boxes need to be separated from bottles and cans. If so, separate them accordingly.
    • Recycling: Place the broken-down corrugated box in the curbside recycling bin or take it to a recycling center and place it in the correct bin.
    • Baling (optional): Many recycling facilities use a baler machine to compact the boxes into dense bundles. This saves space, reduces the number of trips needed for transportation, and promotes more efficient use of resources.
    • Repulping: The bales are transported to a paper mill where the corrugated boxes are fed into a repulper and agitated to create a slushy mixture of fiber and water.
    • Contaminant Removal: The fiber solution is filtered to eliminate contaminants and poured onto a conveyor belt to create a seamless mat of fibers.
    • Slitting and Winding: The wet fiber is dried, rolled onto a large reel spool, slit, and rewound into individual rolls. These rolls are then shipped to sheet plants to be utilized as eco-friendly corrugated packaging.

    Alpha Packaging’s Sustainability Efforts

    At Alpha Packaging, we are committed to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. We recognize that corrugated cardboard is a greener alternative to plastic, which is why we use clean processing methods, to take our sustainability initiatives to the next level. Additionally, we prioritize the use of eco-friendly materials in our facility.

    We create corrugated containers that are made to be as environmentally conscious as possible, reducing waste, chemical impact, and the use of harmful plastics. Our boxes are biodegradable, which helps our customers and their end-users reduce their carbon footprint. We integrate green principles into our product development to ensure we are in line with the latest sustainability practices.

    We believe that our sustainability efforts will continue to expand as we integrate more green practices into our operation, helping preserve the Earth’s resources for future generations and keeping local communities cleaner.

    Go Green with Alpha Packaging

    When you choose products with eco-friendly packaging, you are helping to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and oceans. Request a quote or contact us today to learn more about our sustainable packaging solutions, and let us work together to create a greener future.